What to wear in the mountains: the expert's advice

23/08/2019



What to wear when you decide to take a hike in the mountains? This is a question we have all asked ourselves at least once, especially at the beginning of our “hiking career”. We’ve asked a real expert, the hiking guide Ercole Marchionni, to give us some suggestions on what to wear during a hike. The mountain is in fact an environment in which weather conditions can change rapidly, so clothing and equipment should not be left to chance, but chosen carefully, focusing on garments designed specifically for this use.


 

Mountain, a variable environment
 

As we said, in the mountains you need to be prepared for sudden cloudiness and rain, so proper equipment is recommended, which is able to cope with any eventuality. So, what to wear in the mountains to be ready for any surprise by the weather?
 
The best way to keep your body temperature under control is to dress in layers. The first layer (the closest to the body) will regulate transpiration, the intermediate one will allow to maintain the body temperature, while the external one will guarantee protection from external atmospheric agents (wind, rain, snow, etc.).


 

How to choose the perfect mountain clothing
 

The factors that determine the choice of clothing are essentially two:
  • The season in which you intend to go hiking in the mountains and the current and expected weather condition;
  • The duration of the hike and the maximum quota that you want to reach during the day.

 
As a general rule, for a day trip in the mountains the recommended clothing consists of:
  • Hiking shoes with high cut and a sturdy sole, such as Garmont’s Toubkal GTX or Vetta GTX;
  • Technical breathable base layer in contact with the skin (we suggest to avoid cotton ones, as they become heavy and dry too slowly when they get wet with sweat);
  • Long-sleeved shirt or jersey, to wear if it gets a little windy or cloud
  • Sweater or fleece: there are a lot of different kinds, but a good quality fleece has superior thermal insulation, guarantees acceptable transpiration and dries quickl
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket (also called “shell”): preferably light, because when folded it does not take up much space in the backpack;
  • Comfortable long trousers (no jeans or velvet ones because if it rains or simply by sweating they stick to the thighs and bother, thus limiting the movements) and preferably in technical material, which in case of rain can dry quickly and shelter from the wind better than natural fiber
  • Hat and glove
  • Hiking socks: there are various kinds, suitable for every situation. The light ones are advisable for simple walks or for a day hike, while the more robust and thick ones are preferable for more rigid climates. It is important that there are no seams near the fingers and that they are reinforced in the heel are
  • Cap for UV protection (in summer
  • Replacement shirt;
  • Overtrousers in case of rain.

 
This is a quick guide on what to wear in the mountains, in order to not be surprised by sudden weather changes. In the mountains, however, in addition to technical clothing, it is also necessary to have the right equipment, starting with a good backpack. In the next article we will provide some useful tips about choosing the right equipment and prepare the backpack in the best way.